Claire Foy has returned to the London stage for the first time after her acclaimed portrayal of Lady Macbeth opposite James McAvoy’s MACBETH at the Trafalgar Studios in 2013. She reunites with her THE CROWN on-screen husband Matt Smith in Matthew Warchus’s revival of Duncan MacMillian’s hilarious two-hander LUNGS at the Old Vic for a short run, which ends this Saturday. They play an unnamed couple freaking out over what to do with their lives in the face of imminent climate catastrophe.
After being nominated for a BAFTA for her performance as the ill-fated queen Anne Boleyn in the BBC television serial WOLF HALL (2015), Claire received further international recognition for her role as the young Queen Elizabeth II in the first two seasons of Peter Morgan’s Netflix series THE CROWN opposite Matt, who played her consort, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, winning a Golden Globe, an Emmy and two SAG Awards. She was also BAFTA nominated as she was for her performance as Neil Armstrong’s wife Janet in Damien Chazelle’s 2018 biopic FIRST MAN.
In his TimeOut review, Andrzej Lukowski wrote, “Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnetic in this big stage outing.”
Claire kindly signed this sketch for me during rehearsals at the Old Vic.
Glasgow-born James McAvoy has just completed the lead role in a sell out season of ‘the Scottish play’, with English actress Claire Foy as Lady Macbeth.
After an eighty day run as London’s Trafalgar Studios, James goes straight into filming the next instalment of X Men alongside the two Knights, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, who have both also starred as the murdering Scot. James commented that it would be fun having three Macbeths in the one place “We might have a Macbeth-off – my Macbeth’s better than your Macbeth!”
The production received rave reviews, but the interaction with the audience didn’t always go to script. He suddenly stopped mid-scene when someone in the front was filming with his mobile phone. He refused to continue with the play until the device was firmly put away. James also stopped in the middle of the climatic sword fight to help an audience member who had collapsed. He called for help, cracked a joke or two, then continued the scene with the same intensity, according to one witness who tweeted the event. On another occasion, he told two drunk women who kept talking through the early scenes to “shut up”. They eventually complied and later fell asleep.
When he signed my sketch, going in for the Friday evening’s performance, he was telling the gathered ‘graphers that he had injured an eye and his hand due to the intense physicality of the play. Luckily it was his left hand, so he could still sign!